Penis and Penile Implants for ED (Erectile Dysfunction)

What are Penis  & Penile Implants?

Patients with ED (Erectile Dysfunction) can receive a device known as a penile implant, which facilitates an erection; this treatment is typically offered to men who have used preferred ED treatments (penis pump or medication) without success. There are 2 kinds of penis /penile implant that work in different ways and offer varying benefits; either the inflatable or semi-rigid device is available.

Penile and penis implants
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Implant types

The most commonly used type of penile implant is the inflatable device, which inflates to produce a temporary erection, until deflated. To help prevent infection, some are pre-coated in antibiotics. The alternate semi-rigid penile implant remain firm but are manoeuvrable and can be specially designed to accommodate patients with a non-average penis size.

Implant use

ED Medication or penis pumps can usually remedy the condition, but for those deemed unsuitable or where other treatments have proved ineffective, penile implants can help restore normal sexual function. Patients diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease (scarring within the penis that induces painful curved erections) can also have their symptoms relieved with the use of penile implants.

Device suitability

Penile implant surgical procedures could prove unsuitable for patients with infections, poorly managed diabetes or temporary erectile dysfunction; those regularly using anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin, could also be advised to temporarily avoid the procedure. Penile implants don’t affect sensation or stimulation; penile implant-induced erections can also be shorter in length.

Procedure preparation

Patients will be advised on the duration of their stay in hospital and limitations regarding pre-surgery food/drink intake; patients will require transportation when returning home. A review of the patient’s medical history will also be conducted, along with a physical examination, so as to ensure preferable treatment are viable; individual expectations will also be discussed with your consultant.

Implant surgery

After confirming that a particular implant is the best treatment option, surgery is typically done under a general or localised spinal anaesthetic at hospital. As well as the initial shaving of the area to be operated on, doctors will administer antibiotics (intravenously), to further prevent infection.

Although devices are customised to fit each individual patient’s body shape, the surgery is usually completed within an hour. Incisions could be made to facilitate the use of a catheter during surgery, when the implant is inserted into the hollow chambers of the penis, where the blood usually creates an erection.

Procedure recovery

Stitches are removed after two weeks, but a full recovery and a return to everyday or strenuous activities can take around 5 weeks (when patients can begin to use their implants). To prevent a downward curvature, specific positioning of the penis could be advised, with antibiotics and painkillers used to treat the mild pain typically experienced following surgery.

Surgical risks of penis implants

All surgery typically involves risk and the possibility of experiencing complications such as infection, issues with the device itself or any internal adhesion or internal erosion caused (should the implant impede upon the skin). 80% of penile implants remain effective for a 10 year period following insertion and have proven satisfactory for a majority of patients and their partners.

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